*BEST OF DTB #240* The Catholic Defender: Christmas Timeline

Posted by John Benko - December 24th, 2013

The Promise:

Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heal.”

1250 B.C., Deuteronomy 18:15, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you among your own kinsmen; to him shall you listen.”

742 B.C., Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”

742 B.C., Micah (Contemporary of Isaiah) 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from old, from ancient times.”

538 B.C., Daniel 9:24, “Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city: Then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated, Everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified, and a most holy will be anointed.

The Preparation:

9th of Av 586 B.C. (Tish’a B’ Av) The destruction of the Temple (2 Kgs 24:18-25). This broke cycle of the priestly duties which would resume in 538 when the Hebrews returned from exile. This would set the stage for an important event. Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah, was conducting his duties about October 2nd-9th, Yom Kippur (Luke 1:10). The prophecy of John the Baptist through an Angel of the Lord.

63 B.C. Pompey abominations spoken of by the Jewish Historian, Josephus said it was 27 years from this date to when Herod captures Jerusalem.

36 B.C. a Sabbatical year, During the Jewish High Festival, Yom Kippur, Jerusalem fell to Herod whose reign begins on the first of Nissan, 35 B.C. This is important because Herods death takes place soon after an eclipse on Jan 10, 1 B.C. (King Herod would be the ruling authority in Judea-a puppet of Rome, at the time of Christs birth, December 25, 2 B.C.)

October 3 B.C. The Day of Atonement-Yom Kippur, the busiest Temple day of the Temple year (Luke 1:10) sometime late March early April. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Zachariah and announced the coming of John the Baptist.

September 3 B.C. The planet Jupiter was in conjunction with Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo-Leo the Lion. This would be the star the wise men would follow leading them to Bethlehem. They followed the star for about 16 months until the Star rested over Bethlehem for six days beginning on Dec 25, 2 B.C.

February 2 B.C. Caesar Augustus received the title “Pater Patriae on Feb 2 B.C. calling for his presence in Rome beginning early fall of 3 B.C. Quirinius, the Governor of Syria (Luke 2:2), acted as Governor of Palestine through 2 B.C. This is important because of the decree for the whole world to be enrolled which is what leads Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. This fulfills Micah 5:2.

March-April 2 B.C. “In the sixth month (since the announcement of John the Baptist-October 2 B.C.), the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom there will be no end.”
(Luke 1:26-22)

March-April 2:B.C. Mary hastens to visit Elizabeth who was in her sixth month of pregnancy.

June (25) 2 B.C. Birth of St. John the Baptist.

The Christmas Story

December 25 2 B.C. The Birth of Jesus “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (Isaiah 9:5-6).

“Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21)

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was Governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
(Luke 2:1-7)

December 25, 2 B.C. The angels announcement of the good news and the visitation of the Shepherds.

December 31, 2 B.C. The Visitation of the Wise men following the Star of Bethlehem and the vision of the angels to travel another route from King Herod.

December 31, 2 B.C. St. Joseph receives the vision to flee with Mary and Jesus from King Herod’s massacre of the Holy Infants trying to kill the Christ Child.

The Presentation

January 1, 1 B.C. In Jerusalem, about 5 miles away from Bethlehem, Jesus is brought to the Temple for Circumcision in accordance to the Law of Moses. Then continues to Nazareth where St. Joseph leads the Holy Family to Egypt until the death of King Herod and the end of the danger.

January 10, 1 B.C. The Eclipse spoken of by the Jewish Historian, Josephus who then identifies King Herod’s death soon after. This would have been in his 37th year of his reign as shown by Josephus.

April 33, 3 A.D. Jesus dies on the cross and rises from the dead three days later. the Ascension of Jesus would be 40 days later and the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles in Jerusalem takes place 50 days later. This marks the birthday of the Church founded by Christ, the Catholic Faith.

The Celebration:

December 25, 125 A.D. Pope Telephorus, 7th successor of St. Peter, established the custom of Midnight Mass.

During this time, we also read the following words of Theophilus (A.D. 115-181), Catholic bishop of Caesarea in Palestine: “We ought to celebrate the birthday of Our Lord on what day soever the 25th of December shall happen.”

December 25, 127 A.D. Pope Telephorus began the custom of Midnight Mass singing in honor of the Christmas Story, the angels announcing the good news.

In the 2nd century, a massacre in the catacombs on December 25th was recorded as having occurred on the date of the Nativity.

Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic Jew, wrote, “There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds which seem to me historically untenable.”

Shortly thereafter in the second century, Saint Hippolytus (A.D. 170-240) wrote in passing that the birth of Christ occurred on December 25:

“The First Advent of our Lord in the flesh occurred when He was born in Bethlehem, was December 25th, a Wednesday, while Augustus was in his forty-second year, which is five thousand and five hundred years from Adam. He suffered in the thirty-third year, March 25th, Friday, the eighteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, while Rufus and Roubellion were Consuls.”

313 A.D. The Early Christians built a Church over the site of where Jesus was born, Constantine was by this time a Christian.

379 A.D. The preaching of Saints such as St. Gregory Nazianzus.

Saint Augustine confirms the tradition of March 25 as the Messianic conception and December 25 as His birth:

For Christ is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th

397 A.D. The hymns of St Ambrose began to inspire many.

567 A.D. The Council of Tours establishing the Seasons of Advent and Christmas into the Church calender.

The Christmas Season runs from December 25th through 6 January, the Feast of the Epiphany, the Wise men.

12th Century, St. Francis of Assisi inspires plays and caroling through the Nativity scene

We here at Deepertruth want to wish you all a Merry Christmas (which is really taken from the root Christ Mass) and a Happy New Year.

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*BEST OF DTB #115* The case for December 25th, 2 BC- The video

Posted by John Benko - December 12th, 2011

We are so proud to present this to you. We hope it makes your Christmas more Merry.

There are some that question the efficacy of such an effort on the grounds that it really doesn’t matter when Jesus was born, only that He was.

There is merit to the argument up to a point.

Where the argument loses it salience is when the difficulties presented call into question the reliability of the early church fathers, or even the fact that Jesus Christ was a historical person after all.

Those difficulties have long hinged around a number of popular misconceptions about the dates of some of the Gospel events. For example;

  1. It has long been assumed by many that Herod the Great died in 4 BC but this conclusion is
    simply untenable, given the evidence we have. A far more compelling case points to January 1BC.
  2. The issue of Quirinius as Governing Syria. His reign did not commence until 6 AD. Many point to this, and point # 1 as making Christ’s birth impossible to reconcile. Knowing that Quirinius would have been governing temporarily, in 2 BC, removes this objection.
  3. Zechariah’s appearance in the Temple was not according to the rotation established in 1 Chronicles 24, which begins on 1 Nisan but rather on the one that was set after the temple was rebuilt by Zerubbabel. This rotation begins on Tisha B’ AV

These, and other facts, clear up the complications and show, quite clearly, that the early church knew what it was talking about. The gospel accounts are not fairy tales, they are true historical events. This should give pause to the misguided folks who say that Christmas is more about the sun god than the Son of God. That you establish the date of December 25 as belonging to Mithros or Nimrod orfalling during Saturnalia means nothing to me. The only point of contention is whether Jesus was, or was not, born on this date. The answer to that question must rest on the merits and not on who else lays claim to the date.

At the end of the day, we believe we have established December 25th, 2 BC as the only plausible date that fits the totality of the evidence. Unless someone can counter this conclusion with unimpeachable evidence, juxtaposing us against Mithros will result in a yawn.

The larger question is what this means for you. If this baby was born when we say He was, than you may just have to accept that He is who we say He is. What are you going to do with that revelation? Will you continue to remain frozen in denial or will yearning impulses move you to explore the potential reality of this possibility? If this boy child be God made flesh, it is reasonable of you to conclude that there must be some tangible evidence of this. Yet, if the evidence did exist, it is just as reasonable to conclude that you would incur guilt in making no effort to seek it out.

Yes, the reality that the Christmas story just might be a true story may shake you from your atrophy and place you on a new, exciting, and sometimes challenging path….

….but is that really such a bad thing after all?


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